Artist Profiles: Hallvard T. Bjørgum

Hallvard T. Bjørgum

Hallvard T. Bjørgum (born 1956) from Setesdal is a folk musician in the third generation of a well-known “folk music family”. He plays fiddle tunes from the Setesdal and Telemark districts, as well as stev and psalm melodies.

In addition to being a powerful and expressive fiddler, he is also a master story-teller. He combines these talents in his concerts. He has taught at universities and community music schools, and has instructed musicians from both Norway and abroad. Bjørgum won the first prize at the National Contest for Traditional Music in 1982 and 1988. In 1988 he also won the King’s Trophy. He is regarded as one of Norway’s most gifted Hardanger fiddle players.

In 1990 he took over the Sylvartun Silversmith and Cultural Center, which he had operated together with his father. This center houses the largest existing collection of Hardanger fiddles, and includes many instruments that belonged to legendary Norwegian performers. That same year he was awarded a lifetime grant from the Norwegian Government.

He has collaborated with a great many artists, including Kirsten Braten Berg, Lena Willemark, Mats Edén, Bjørgulv Straume, Eilert Hægeland and Arild Andersen.

He is exploring the similarities between the oldest fiddle music in Setesdal, known as “gorrlause rammeslåttene”, and the folk music of the Caucasus region. He plays along with Elshan Mansurov, one of Azerbaijan’s leading kamancha players.

Discography

Slinkombas (Grappa Musikkforlag (MC) HK 7001, 1979)
Slinkombas og bas igjen (Grappa Musikkforlag (MC) HK 7015, 1982)
Klunkaren, with Torleiv H. Bjørgum (Sylvartun SYLVCD 1, 1985/1998)
Dolkaren, with Torleiv H. Bjørgum (Sylvartun SYLVCD 3, 19
Skjoldm?yslaget, with Torleiv H. Bj?rgum (Sylvartun SYLVCD 2, 1990)(Eng. version: Fire of the Amazons Sylvartun SYLVCD 4)
Juletid, with Kirsten Braten Berg and Eilert Haegeland (Norsk Plateproduksjon IDCD 19, 1991)
Setesdal forteljetradisjon, with Olav B? (Sylvartun SYLVCD 5, 1995)
Meisterspel, with various artists (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD, 1 7132, 1998)
Toneflaum, with Bjarne Herrefoss and Knut Hamre (Sylvartun SYLVCD 6, 1998)
Runarstreng, with Kirsten Braten Berg (Grappa Musikkforlag GRCD 4157, 1999)
Bjørgumspel (2002)
Free Field (2003)
Peace Will Come (2009)
Sterke slag, with Gunnar Stubseid (2013)
Førnesbrunen Vol. 2, with Hauk Buen (2014),
Bjørgumspel Vol. II, with Daniel Sandén-Warg (2015),

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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